Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls

So my lovely Karol really loves cabbage.  I mean she REALLY loves cabbage.  Me not so much. But I am a considerate person, so on occasion I make something with cabbage just to put a smile on her beautiful face.

Some time ago my friend Jackie had posted a recipe on her Facebook wall for a deconstructed cabbage roll.  This intrigued Karol so much she shared it with me and asked me to make it for her.  So yesterday I indulged her.  After all the boys are visiting their dad for the holidays and there was no one here to complain about what I cooked for dinner or  “OMG, that smells like death”, which is what The Genius likes to say about food he doesn’t like……sigh……

So I am one of those people who posts pictures of food on Facebook.  Yes, I am, sorry. I like food.  This is why I have to spend so much time at the gym, but that is a story for another day.  Interestingly after I posted my picture of the cabbage medley on the stove at least 4 people asked me to post the recipe.  I have been looking for a reason to start blogging again.  I want to, but I spent so much time writing last semester (which shall forever be known as “the semester that kicked my ass”) that to sit down and start typing was not appealing… all……  But posting this recipe seemed like the perfect platform to spring off to get back into blogging, so here I am….

Anyway, I looked and looked for a recipe, but none of them had exactly what I wanted, so I did what most seasoned cooks do.  I picked something, and then adapted and changed it to be what I wanted.  The biggest things I wanted to change was giving it a “Hungarian” flavor, as well as adding in brown rice.  It is sometimes difficult to cook with rice because of knowing exactly how much liquid to add so you don’t end up with crunchy rice.  So I just cooked the rice separately and then added it in at the end.

So this is my version of Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls


1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided (more or less, depending on your pan)
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped small
2 tsp finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
salt and black pepper to taste
1  heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice


Heat 1-2 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan; cook onion until it is translucent, then add in ground beef, garlic, thyme and paprika.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook it  until beef is done and nicely browned, breaking apart as it cooks.
 Then add the diced tomatoes with juice, and tomato sauce.  Let mixture simmer until it’s hot and slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
While the meat mixture simmers, cut cabbage in half, cut out the core, remove any wilted outer leaves, and then chop the cabbage coarsely into pieces.  (They don’t have to be all the same size, this is a coarse chop after all.)  Heat about 2 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven with high sides, add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks.  Season cabbage with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.When the meat and tomato sauce mixture has cooked 10-15 minutes and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups of cooked rice and cabbage and gently combine. Let this simmer together for about 5-10 minutes until the flavors have combined, some, then serve.
I did not originally plan on posting this, so I apologize for no pictures other than the final one which looks like this (don’t judge my dirty stove please, I had just finished cooking)….
deconstructed cabbage rolls

To be honest, it was pretty yummy.  I bet it will be even better for leftovers when the flavors have had a better chance to “shake hands”, as my mother always says.


Getting back in the saddle of blogging.

So, last semester, school kicked my ass.  Literally.  I was so tired of writing after the semester was finished I just couldn’t bring myself to even look at the blog.  However, I have now been out of school for two weeks.  I spent the first week cleaning my house.  The n last week was spent getting ready for the holidays because that had not even been on the radar yet.  I am now done with baking, buying, and getting the foodstuffs for the Christmas dinner.

I am now ready to hit the keyboard.  So YAY!  Blogging shall commence tomorrow!